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Iris van Herpen – Transforming Fashion

Artists' Stories

Iris van Herpen – Transforming Fashion

A young and promising designer from Holland, Iris van Herpen is known for the eclectic ideas that guide her as she experiments with textiles and sews unusual materials and themes into the clothes she creates. Undeniably a driving force in transforming 21st century fashion and consciousness, van Herpen’s collection of numerous awards and frequent international fashion shows are only proof of her growing influence. No wonder the exhibition at Cincinnati Art Museum is named “Iris van Herpen – Transforming Fashion”.

Wilderness Embodied Look, Iris van Herpen, 2013, Iris van Herpen - Transforming Fashion

Wilderness Embodied Look, Iris van Herpen, 2013

Van Herpen’s ideas appear to be cosmically inspired, seemingly not adhering to any traditional boundaries. At the very least they are futuristic. Her creations pioneer modern material production techniques, allowing the designer to play with fabric and give her pieces an amazing three-dimensional effect.

To some critics, Iris’s work may be too much to handle – considered to be the domain of ultra-avantgarde individualists – but this would only seem to be confirmation of how artistic her point of view over fashion is. In fact, it could be said that each of her designs is a piece of art.

Chemical Crows, Iris van Herpen, 2008, Iris van Herpen - Transforming Fashion

Chemical Crows, Iris van Herpen, 2008

Given this perception of van Herpen’s work, perhaps it comes as little surprise that this successful woman of 33 who interned with some of the best, including Alexander McQueen and Claudy Jongstra, has already worked with a who’s who of the world’s show business elite, including Beyoncé, Tilda Swinton or Lady Gaga. Another key accomplishment was having been the youngest designer ever to exhibit at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week in 2011.

An exhibition of the designer’s work entitled Iris van Herpen – Transforming Fashion was already presented at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

It will be shown again on October 13th, 2017 at the Cincinnati Art Museum, one of the oldest art museums in Ohio. The exhibit will allow visitors to take in a collection of van Herpen’s unique fashion pieces until January 7th 2018.

Refinery dress, Iris van Herpen, 2008, Groninger Museum, Iris van Herpen - Transforming Fashion

Refinery dress, Iris van Herpen, 2008, Groninger Museum


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is a fifth-year student towards her Master of Journalism degree, yet art has always been one of her biggest interests. She especially admires Impressionism, Postimpressionism as well as Realism. As a result, she can never get enough of museums, and therefore loves to travel the world.


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